In our instantaneous world one of my biggest gripes concerns those entities who demand instant payment before services rendered BUT will not do the same for you. In addition, it irks me to no end to have a customer support person tell me that they are not going to charge me for their mistake. This has happened to me several times recently and I totally got bent out of shape.
In late September, I am going to travel to see my newest granddaughter in Texas. My teen asked to go along so we spent several days looking at our fall schedules and working around the online airline schedules to come up with a travel plan that is workable. Finally, we decided on an airline and the travel dates. We typed in the information, paid the credit card, and got the receipt in the email.
We are excited to see the new baby and have been talking about how much fun the trip will be. Dad, of course, listened along and decided to see if he could get the same days off. Even more fun EXCEPT that leaves the newest teen and the pre-teen at home alone. Unfortunately, they are not excited to fly to Texas just to see a baby. They would like to miss school but sitting around OLD family folks is not their idea of exciting.
OK. I get that so I arrange for them to stay with others while we are away. The trip is on! I get back online to get dad a ticket. Eureka! Same airline, same flight, same amount of money. We continued on with our summer plans until I got informed that the ten-year old did NOT have a place to stay in late September after all. We had a family discussion and decided that he had to go with us.
OK. I get that so back to the airline website and I find that I can still get him on the same flights as us for the same amount of money. I type in all of his information and red words pop up all over the screen. Apparently, a ten-year old cannot get a ticket online unless it is connected to an adult ticket. That makes sense because they can’t see that he is connected to me. I had to call. Which is misery.
I only waited about eight minutes before I could talk to a customer service representative. She actually talked English and was very helpful. I explained that I needed to add him to our group and he would need a ticket with the same flight numbers, same days, blah, blah, blah. She clicked around for a while and the assured me that the ticket had been added and my card charged accordingly.
In just a few minutes I saw the email come through with his ticket information. All was not well. He was on a completely different flight from us! He was scheduled to leave two hours after we did. Not sure how they thought he was going to get to the airport! Hee-Hee. I called back immediately. Waited my turn and got another nice lady on the phone. I explained how I had JUST added him and that he had been put on a different flight and I needed him on our flights as he was ten years old.
She tut-tutted and clicked and hummed. “Ok, Ma’am, I see what happened, we have him on the same flight as the rest of your party now. Will there be anything else?” I thanked her and said, “No.” Before I could hang up she said, “Ahhh, ma’am, there is a $200 fee for a ticket change but today we are going to waive that fee for you.”
I wish we had the old kind of phones with large plastic receivers so that I could have slammed it down, but, alas, we do not. Instead, I replied, “I hope I do not have to pay $200 for your mistake.”
She argued with me! “But ma’am this is just a courtesy for you. Usually ticket changes are $200 and we are not going to charge you today for this change.” I could hear her on the phone. I guess she was waiting on me to apologize.
I said, “Well, thank-you, but it was your mistake not mine.”
She ended the conversation with a huff and told me that I would receive a confirmation within 3-4 hours.
Thank-You Ma’am! Why should we be charged for their mistake? Some businesses have gone too far. Why should we have to pay instantly and yet if we have a valid refund issue we must wait up to two months for our money to be sent back and often with a handling fee taken out? And what about all those security deposits that must be paid instantaneously yet take forever to get back when the transaction is complete?
I have no answers. Just needed to fuss. I pray that we can get that kid on the plane with us in late September. There is probably a note attached to our tickets somewhere in cyberspace.
“This lady did not think much of our $200 courtesy offer. Make security wand her and X-ray her two times.”